In 2012, Comscore estimated that 67 percent of shopping carts are abandoned by customers upon checkout. In 2013, Listrak pegged shopping cart abandonment rate at 75 percent. It looks like this conversion-lowering woe of e-commerce site owners has not been properly addressed.
Use your checkout page to drive conversion. Simple tweaks to your e-commerce site design can work wonders for your sales and reduce the number of abandoned carts. Here are six basic ways to minimize cart abandonment.
1. Do Not Ask a Customer to Register Before Shopping
Prompt your customer to register after he/she has completed placing the order. The annoying pop-up or redirect asking to create an account before you allow a user to shop turns away potential buyers. On a different note, functionally like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, PayPal connect could be tried out depending on the audience you are targeting.
Suggest related products before your customer reaches the checkout stage. Many shoppers relish being confident about their purchase. And one way of ensuring that they have added to their shopping carts the product options that they find most satisfactory is to situate your recommended related items before checkout. If you sell electronic gadgets, for instance, a customer may forget to buy a much-needed adapter for a certain product. Preempt that need and along with reducing cart abandonment, you also increase your cross-selling or upselling rate.
3. Show All the Fees While the Customer Loads Items Onto the Shopping Cart
“Hidden” fees that only appear upon checkout are the bane of many online shoppers. Display taxes and shipping fees on the cart at all times. If you show applicable fees only at the final checkout page, then you risk having the customer abandon his cart.
Also, consider offering free shipping. A study made by Forrester Research revealed that 44 percent of online shoppers abandoned their carts due to high shipping costs and 22 percent did so because there was no mention of shipping fees at all. If you cannot afford to offer free shipping, then have a flat shipping rate instead.
4. Improve the Usability of Your Shopping Cart
Items added to the cart must be visible at all times. Display small images of the items that are already loaded by the customer to the cart. That way, he does not need to backtrack. Show all the applicable fees, as well.
And while the customer is looking for other products to buy from your store, the shopping cart must be readily accessible from all web pages, preferably through a dropdown menu on the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Make the shopping cart button distinct from the checkout button. There should also be enough space separating them. Help the user avoid clicking the wrong button as that can easily put him off from completing the purchase.
Design your shopping cart to accommodate changes in product quantity. Your customer may remove items from the cart, and he should be given the ability to do so in one click.
Another way to limit cart abandonment is to allow your customers to easily email or print out the contents of their cart. An assistant, for example, is buying for his boss and may need a go-signal before charging a corporate credit card. If there are interruptions to the checkout process, make it easy for the customer to resume buying and finally pay for the items.
Amazon.com allows users to add products to their wishlist and save items on their cart. It is an excellent cart usability feature that encourages future sales. You might want to consider adopting it.
5. Shorten Your Checkout Process
If you have multiple forms to fill out, a webpage for survey questions and recommended products, and another webpage to showcase your current promotions before the customer reaches the billing page, and then you might as well count that customer as an abandoned-cart case.
Consider making guest checkout an option. Book Depository is not only successful because of its free shipping deal. Buy from Book Depository and use PayPal as a mode of payment. Notice how the cumbersome registration and billing forms are missing. The checkout process is remarkably seamless and fast. There are only two web pages after clicking the checkout-with-PayPal button, lessening the chances of a customer changing his mind about the purchase.
6. Offer Different Payment Options
On top of credit cards, third-party online payment services like PayPal, Interac (in Canada), Debit Cards, are crucial if you want more customers to complete the checkout process. Accept a variety of payment methods and grow your customer base.